Saturday, March 12, 2011

Almack's: A Novel

[Abbotsford,] March 12...I have been trying to read a new novel which I have heard praised. It is called Almacks, and the author has so well succeeded in describing the cold selfish fopperies of the time, that the copy is almost as dull as the original. I think I will take up my bundle of Sheriff-Court processes instead of Almacks, as the more entertaining avocation of the two.

Per Scott's journal, today we catch Sir Walter Scott at home reading - March 12th 1827, that is.  Evidently, he was not impressed with Marianne Spencer Stanhope Hudson's work.  The "cold pleasant fopperies" Scott refers to occurred at Almack's Assembly Rooms.  Almack's was one of the earliest co-ed clubs.  Almack's contains the following recommendation from the Edinburgh Review:

" To expose the vices of fashionable life, in their original and proudest sphere, is not only to purify the stream at its source, but to counteract their pernicious influence where it is the most formidable and extensive"

Edinburgh Review.

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